COUNTDOWN TO OSCARS 2019 BEGINS

HOLLYWOOD – The countdown to the 91st Academy Awards (also known popularly as the Oscars) begins.

Sunday sees Jimmy Kimmel host the 90th Academy Awards but here at the Studio Exec we’re already looking forward to the next edition.

We spoke with resident Oscar expert Oscar Isaac:

The 91st edition of the Academy Awards look like being the most competitive ever. A real make or break year. Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks are joined in the acting categories by Sting and Kevin James in what has turned out to be a genuinely surprising year. The new Tarantino movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might see the famed director get his hands on a Best Picture for the first time. Though some claim that his killing of Leonardo di Caprio might go against him.

He killed di Caprio?

To be fair, Quentin didn’t force him to fly that helicopter in Mexico.

Jesus.

Woody Allen’s collaboration with Roman Polanski – Thank God for Little Girls – was the surprise entrant in the Foreign Language category, his first French language film where it’ll compete with Michael Haneke’s Eine Kliene Nacht Musik – which translates as You Are All a Bunch of Shitting Bastards. As for Best Picture, Guillermo del Toro must certainly be in the running with his Splash reboot and George Lucas for Button Pants. There’s also bound to be the now traditional mix up at the end. Hashtag hilarious.

Thanks Oscar.

That’s fine Exec.

The Oscars are on Sunday.

OSCARS PLAN BEST PICTURES SNAFU

HOLLYWOOD – The Oscars will feature another SNAFU on the Best Picture Oscar this year.

The nominations for the 90th edition of the Academy Awards are out. And already excitement is beginning to build, with many already laying odds on who the winner might be. But one thing is certain, whoever wins the Best Picture is going to almost certainly be the second name called. We spoke with a spokesperson for the Academy:

We had such fun last year with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. First of all we thought it was a huge mistake but we got more ratings and buzz for days and weeks afterwards than we had for any other edition. We live in a new world now and if the Oscars are going to survive it is going to have to become more and more viral. This kind of story runs and runs.

 So you’re going to intentionally give the wrong movie the Best Picture Oscar?

Exactly. We have talked about leaking it into other categories as well. Can you imagine how funny it will be when Denzel Washington gets up and starts his acceptance speech only to be interrupted and told that Daniel Day-Lewis has won it again. Hilarious.

It could upset some people.

We also thought of a new system where we announce two winners and make the decider a race to reach the podium. When Margot Robbie hears about that she’ll probably break Meryl Streep’s leg! Because of the I, Tonya, you see because…

Yeah I get it. I just don’t believe it. 

It’s adapt or die in the new social media landscape Exec. We had Ellen Degeneres doing a selfie some years back, but that stuff got old pretty fast. Now we’ve got to innovate. One idea was to burn Kevin Spacey in effigy on the stage, or even have a ‘purge’ on the red carpet. But we also want to keep the dignity of the academy going. So… this is what we’ve got.

The Oscars are broadcast March 4th, 8:00 PM ET, ABC.

 

DENZEL WASHINGTON LIVES IN LOS ANGELES

HOLLYWOOD – Shocking news today that actor Denzel Washington actually lives in Los Angeles.

Magnificent Seven and Equalizer star Denzel Washington lives in Los Angeles and not Washington as previously believed. A fan told the Studio Exec

I feel betrayed. I mean, his name says Washington. What is it with these movie stars?

Daughter Kerry Washington appeared so shocked by the revelations that she even denied that Fences star Denzel was her father.

‘We’re no relation,’ she said. ‘It’s quite a common surname.’

 The Equalizer 2 is in production.

REVIEW – FENCES

REVIEW – FENCES – Denzel Washington stars in and directs Fences – a kind of Death of a Garbageman.

Denzel Washington chooses finally to put his acting chops to good use. Following on from the unwashed bilge of The Equalizer and several Tony Scott-lite thrillers, Fences comes as a relief. Directing himself,  Washington plays Troy, a garbageman with the gift of the gab. He weaves an incessant spiel with best friend Bono (Stephen Henderson) and his long-suffering wife Rose (Viola Davis). His history is slowly revealed, along with his university of life wisdom.

Slowly we also understand a deeply corrosive side to his character, which risks destroying his family. Based on a celebrated stage play by August Wilson, Washington film looks wonderful but doesn’t bother trying to shrug off its theatrical origins. The rhythm of the dialogue is crucially retained and the heavy handed metaphor of the fence itself is unavoidable. The holy fool brother also feels shopworn, but Washington and Davis are truly brilliant and worth the ticket.

For more Reviews, Click Here.

MAGNIFICENT SEVEN FANS CONCERNED GLOSSY HOLLYWOOD REMAKE BETRAYS SPIRIT OF ORIGINAL GLOSSY HOLLYWOOD REMAKE

HOLLYWOOD – Fans of The Magnificent Seven have voiced concerns that the new Hollywood remake of the classic film will betray the original 1960 Hollywood remake.

As the first images and trailer dropped of Antoine Fuqua’s new film The Magnificent Seven starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt, voices have been raised concerned that the remake will betray the spirit of the original 1960 remake starring Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen.

President of the Magnificent Seven Appreciation Society Johnny Applecart explains:

The untouchable beauty of the original John Sturges film is that it was so new and fresh. You had these wonderful actors at the height of their game and a magnificent score. A brilliant director also. But perhaps more than anything you had the fact that the while film was based on a movie by Akira Kurosawa, The Seven Samurai. So there was this frisson between East and West, high art and popular genre, cowboys and Samurai to quote Jon Favreau.

But doesn’t that just mean that the original was not original?

Yes, but it was not original in an original way. It was taking something from far away and there was a real sense of daring and adventure in that. Here we will be watching a remake of a cowboy film that is also a cowboy film. Watch Battle Beyond the Stars and that’s essentially The Magnificent Seven in space. Robert Vaughn plays essentially the same character. Even the sequels mix it up a bit, but with this new one it just feels like the same thing again with Parks and Rec thrown in.

What do you tihnk about the remake of The Magnificent Seven? Uh huh. Interesting. Now write it in the comments box so we can all enjoy.

CHRIS PRATT: NEW MAGNIFICENT SEVEN ‘SET IN THE SAME UNIVERSE AS THE RIDICULOUS SIX’

HOLLYWOOD – Chris Pratt has confirmed that the new version of The Magnificent Seven is ‘set in the same universe as Adam Sandler’s The Ridiculous Six.’

The Magnificent Seven – a remake of the 1960 classic with Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen – also belongs in the same universe as The Ridiculous Six, Chris Pratt has confirmed:

Very early on in the process Antoine Fuqua sat the whole cast down and explained that although we were respecting the original 1960 film and beyond that Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, our main inspiration would be much closer to home. Namely Adam Sandler’s Ridiculous Six. Although not a direct follow on, or a sequel, we exist in the same rambunctious comic universe full of lewd stereotypes and fart gags. It’s really something. I think everyone is going to be blown away.

Do Sandler Sandler and Taylor Lautner appear?

What do you mean Sandler Sandler?

I meant Adam Sandler, sorry. It was a slip of the tongue.

Still I like it. Sandler Sandler. Sounds like a boutique. But to answer your question: yes. Antoine and Denzel both talked a lot about ‘the anxiety of influence’. The idea is Sandler Sandler and some of the other cast from The Ridiculous Six turn up at the beginning of our film at the railway station in a homage to the opening scene in Once Upon a Time in the West and we gun them down and, in that way, establish ourselves and what we want to do with the film.

The Magnificent Seven will be released on September 23, 2016.

 

 

SPIKE LEE PRAISES GODS OF EGYPT ALL WHITE CASTING

HOLLYWOOD – Spike Lee congratulates Gods of Egypt for not casting black actors.

The historical/fantasy romp Gods of Egypt hit the Box Office with all the impact of a neutrino hitting a truck windshield this week as both critics and public agreed that the film was not worth their time. ‘Starring’ Gerard Butler and Nicolas Coster-Waldau, the Alex Proyas film tells the story of the myth of Osiris and has been roundly criticized for casting almost exclusively white actors as Egyptians. The film however has found an unlikely champion in Maclolm X and future Enter the Dragon director Spike Lee, who spoke to the Studio Exec earlier today:

At first I was mad about the casting controversy concerning Gods of Egypt. It was Ridley Scott and Exodus all over again as far as I could see. A systematic white washing of history and the world for the benefit of the dollar and dumb prejudice audiences who aren’t interested in watching anything which isn’t exactly like them.

So what changed your opinion?

I saw the film.

Ah!

Yeah, exactly. And I realized. Goddamn it, what if Denzel had been in this or Will Smith, or Oprah I mean Whoopi Goldberg.  It could have set the movement back decades. Normally I’d say I’m against segregation, but I do want to be segregated from your bullshit CGIed up the ass fantasy movies with second string Game of Thrones actors. That’s some shit I can get behind.

Gods of Egypt is on release.

CHARLOTTE RAMPLING AND MICHAEL CAINE STEAL OSCARS FROM BLACK PEOPLE

HOLLYWOOD – The controversy concerning Oscars and diversity continues as Michael Caine and Charlotte Rampling allegedly broke into several houses last night and stole the Oscars won by black actors and directors.

Charlotte Rampling and Michael Caine last night have broken into the houses of several famous black actors and Hollywood players – including Denzel Washington, Steve McQueen, Lupita Nyong’o and Spike Lee – and stole the Oscars which they won. Charlotte Rampling told a French radio station:

It’s not fair that black people win Oscars. It’s racist against white people who are dying in all parts of the world because they haven’t won an Oscar.

According to her own confession, the two actors set out with a map and a set of housebreaking tools around seven thirty last night and by early this morning has accrued several Academy Awards which they proudly showed off to photographers (see picture above). Michael Caine was rather less bullish in his remarks, telling the BBC:

It’s all just a bit of fun really. To tell you the truth I’ve always been a little bit in love with Charlotte so she can ask me to do anything and I’m game. Of course, we’ll give the Oscars back, but I think we’re going to have a little fun and make it into something like a treasure hunt or something.

Lupita Nyong’o was actually in when the Rampling Caine robbery team called round and said that she grew suspicious when Charlotte Rampling asked to use the bathroom and then was found poking around in the bedroom.

The police said that they weren’t investigating the incident because Charlotte Rampling and Michael Caine are both white.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor.

WILL SMITH: WHY I WON’T ACCEPT THE BEST ACTOR OSCAR

HOLLYWOOD – As the award season picks up, one favorite contender for the best actor Oscar, Will Smith, has told the Studio Exec why he won’t be picked up the best actor statuette, or attending the ceremony during which he would win it.

My name is Will Smith. You might know me from such films as Bad Boys, Bad Boys II or perhaps The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. I was also in Wild Wild West, but no one really remembers that and in our house we just call it ‘the time dad was always angry’.  As the Oscars approach I think it’s important that I make a statement concerning my decision not to attend the ceremony and not to accept the award for Best Actor, which I was going to win for my amazing role in the football drama Concussion. You see over the years I’ve seen the number of films made by and starring black artists increase. The diversity on our screens is staggering and yet the Academy every year seems to pass over these talents in a way that you don’t want to attribute to prejudice but for which no other explanation is readily available. My wife Jada Pinkett Smith has been an actress for as long as I have but  her work in The Nutty Professor, Matrix Revolutions and Madagascar 3 has not received even one nomination. Not one. As in zero. This can only be because of racism.

I have a unique position in the black community as one of the few actors, along with Denzel Washington, who has the genuine ability to open a big budget film. I’ve been offered nominations all the time but I’ve always turned them down because I feel that to accept the nomination and then the Oscar while my brothers and sisters are not even getting nominated would make me into the worst kind of hypocrite. I won’t do it.  It doesn’t make me happy. I wish I could say, well, okay I’ll take it. I worked hard, I deserve it. I got my speech written down and everything. All the folks I want to thank. We even timed it so the orchestra doesn’t start playing the music to Independence Day while I’m still speaking.

But there is a bigger issue at stake. It’s bad enough the levels of massive inequality, the poverty, the way the prison population likewise bespeaks a society that far from being over racism seems to be becoming more entrenched behind positions of prejudice: it’s bad enough young black kids are getting shot in the streets by the police, but the stinger, the real thing that is gonna get everyone fuming mad is if some very rich people don’t get more recognition from another bunch of very rich people in a televised ceremony and everyone talks about the clothes they’re wearing. Of such injustices revolutions are made.

So this is why I respectfully ask that the Motion Picture Academy of Cinematic Arts do not reward me the Best Actor Oscar for Concussion. But instead give it to someone else. Leonardo deserves it. But anyone else. Not Eddie Redmayne though. I mean Jesus, not him. Christ that film was dull.

Will Smith will be next visible in Suicide Squad.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT PAUL RUDD

HOLLYWOOD – Paul Rudd will soon be appearing in ANT-MAN, but what do we really know about the man?

Now, 5 FACTuals about Paul Rudd, actor and nice guy.

1. Paul Rudd made his name as the inventor of the popular tabletop game Jenga, which he developed with Steve Carrell, but then he gave away the patents to a children’s charity, because he didn’t think anyone should profit from humanity’s need to play stupid games way past the age when it makes sense.

2. Paul Rudd writes and directs all of Judd Apatow’s films, but he refuses to take any credit because a) he’s just such a nice guy and b) they’re all shit.

3. Paul Rudd is a fruitarian, but he won’t eat grapes because ‘they’re so cute.’ While preparing for Ant-Man, Paul ate nothing but watermelons, leading Edgar Wright to nickname him ‘Watermelon-Man.’ When a Marvel exec heard this, they assumed it was racist and fired Wright.  

4. To prepare for his role in “I Love You, Man,” Paul Rudd murdered fifteen homeless people.

5. Paul Rudd’s father was an airline pilot, and Paul traveled frequently with him. Once, when his father was drunk, Paul put the Boeing 747 into a spin, an event which became the real-life inspiration for the Denzel Washington film “Flight.”

For more FACTS Click Here.

HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS GREEN LIT

HOLLYWOOD – Liam Neeson is to complete a quadrology of board game based films with the release of Hungry Hungry Hippos to be released next year.

The Irish actor and Taken star spoke EXCLUSIVELY about the project with The Studio Exec:

It doesn’t seem like yesterday that we were talking about Operation and Battling Tops. After I decided to make those two films my agent called me up and said ‘Liam you’re not going to believe this but they’re after making a film of Hungry Hungry Hippos’. Well, I said ‘Stop the clock! I want it Barney. I want the gig. I want it more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my whole life!’

Why were you so passionate about it?

You see when I was a lad growing in in Ireland, I used to play Hungry Hungry Hippos with my cousins while the adults were all getting ripped off their arses on the porter and singing songs of the famine. I had many a happy memory of that game so it they’re going to make a film of it I want to be involved so that I know they’ll do it right.

What’s the story?

I play Brian McHare, an explorer in the African Congo at the turn of the century. I’m hoping to discover a passage but in the meanwhile there are these diamond smugglers who are looking to kill the local natives and do away with the treasure. We all fall in together and that’s when we come across the titular Hungry Hungry Hippos. have you seen Jaws?

Yes. 

Of course you have. Well, it’s like that, but with hippopotami. And in the jungle. Ridley Scott’s going to direct it. Denzel Washington is playing the fiendish diamond smuggler and One Direction – in their first dramatic film roles – are playing the innocent African villagers.

But aren’t they…

I know but Ridley wants to make a point.

Hungry Hungry Hippos will be released in 2016. 

GRUMPY OLD MEN REBOOT: FIRST LOOK

HOLLYWOOD – The new re-imagining of the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau classic Grumpy Old Men gets its first poster featuring stars Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington.

Famous for their more serious dramatic/action roles in films such as Malcolm X and Taken, Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington both expressed their delight at being involved in the Grumpy Old Men remake.

They spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec.

So what attracted you to the project?

Liam Neeson: We’ve both done remakes in the past. I’ve done The A-Team and Denzel did The Equalizer and…

Denzel Washington: The Taking of Pelham 123.

LN: Right. But we don’t get much opportunity to do comedy. People look at us killing people in our films and they don’t connect that with comedy for some reason.

DW: Cameron Crowe has been trying to get a remake of the film off the ground for years and the script has been circulating. I was looking for something to do with Liam because I’ve admired him as an actor ever since I saw Krull.

LN: For me, I became a big Denzel fan after watching Ricochet. That was one hell of a movie. I pointed at the screen and said ‘I want to do that’.

How did you divide the roles?

DW: Liam was already attached to play John Gufstafson, which was Lemmon’s role. But that was perfect for me because I’ve always seen myself more as a Walter Matthau man. I’ve got the same hangdog looks.  So I took to the role of Max really well.

LN: When I was re-watching the original I noticed that John was kind of a handy man and I thought, I too have a particular set of skills. And so that made my mind up really.

How will the new film differ from the old film?

DW: No one wants to see a carbon copy. What’s the point of that?

LN: Right. In the original, John and Max are both basically bitter old men arguing about the affections of an attractive neighbor Ariel. They spy on each other and try to sabotage each other’s plans.

DW: In our version I’m ex-CIA.

LN: And I’m ex-Secret Service.

DW: And we both love Ariel, playing by Melanie Griffith.

LN: But terrorists have kidnapped her.

DW: We need to forget our differences and team up to kill the terrorists, evade the police commanded (as ever) by Forest Whitaker and save Ariel.

Wow. It doesn’t sound like a funny premise.

LN: Funny? Why on earth would it have to be funny?

Because it’s a comedy.

DW: Comedies don’t have to be funny.

LN: Look at This Means War.

Yes, but...

DW: Or anything with Vince Vaughn in.

LN: He’s made hundreds of comedies and not once have I laughed.

DW: Good point Liam.

LN: Thanks Denzel.

Grumpy Old Men will be in cinemas in 2016.

Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor

SNEAK PEEK AT RIDLEY SCOTT’S SHAFT

HOLLYWOOD – It’s not due out until late 2015 but the Studio Exec have been granted an EXCLUSIVE first look at Ridley Scott’s Shaft, starring Jason Statham.

Statham takes on the role of the iconic role of the seventies detective first made famous by Richard Rowntree in the 1971 cult classic. In 2000 Samuel L. Jackson’s remake was met with a mixed response. This time however, Ridley Scott, whose Exodus: Gods and Kings is in cinemas at the moment, believes he is on to a winning formula:

The problem with Shaft in the past is he was always black. If I’m take make a big budget  film, financing it off Irish tax credits and coupons that I clip from magazines, then I can’t go to the studio and say we’ve got Will (who he?) Smith or Denzel What’s-his-name? They’d laugh in my face. We didn’t even have that conversation. Actually since Prometheus we’ve been having a lot less conversation anyway.

Can you tell us something about the plot?

Thank god! Yes. I’d be more than happy to and at last get away from this ridiculous conversation about race. Okay. Where to start? Shaft is a private detective working in New York where he discovers a slavery ring alive and well in the Twenty First Century. The slave owner, known by the mysterious name Mr. Big, and his cohorts drug white girls and sell them as slaves to Arabs and Africans and the like.

That sounds racist.

What do you mean? Okay, so Jason is playing the main guy but there are lots of black actors in the cast.

Like who?

Well, Jamie Foxx is playing Mr. Big. And I’m hoping to get Danny Glover to play this really vicious psychopath who tries to kill Shaft’s twelve year old daughter.

Shaft will be released December 25, 2015.

REMAKE WATCH: THE EQUALIZER

HOLLYWOOD – Denzel Washington teams up with Training Day director Antoine Fuqua for a remake of a popular TV series The Equalizer.

The original starred Edward Woodward (why does Edward Woodward have four Ds in his name? Because otherwise he’d be called Ewar Woo War) as a geriatric Charles Bronson for hire. But in the new remake Denzel Washington will play Robert McCall, who in an attempt to salve his covert ops stained conscience puts an advert in the paper: ‘Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer’. 

Could it be actually good? These are the kind of premises that Washington carries off with aplomb when avoiding the effort of properly acting in something. The director brings to the table Olympus Has Fallen and King ArthurAnd the writer is Richard Wenk, whose CV includes The Expendables. This comes as a surprise. I didn’t think those things were so much written as workshopped with the NRA. So this isn’t Pirandello exactly. 

The Equalizer is due out in May 2014.